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5 Iconic Star Wars Sounds On Guitar

Ayla Tesler-Mabe  /  Videos / May 4


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To celebrate Star Wars Day, Ayla Tesler-Mabe re-creates 5 iconic sounds from the Star Wars franchise with only her guitar and a couple of effect pedals.

Sound #1 – Battle Alarm

The first sound Ayla replicates requires a drive pedal for grit and delay for more character. She creates this sound by sliding up the guitar fretboard to the bend note to get the alarm effect. This is also a good exercise for having control of the instrument so you’re benefiting in more ways than one! For this sound, it’s important to pay attention to the pitch and the rate it loops so the timing is consistent and mechanical as an alarm would be.

Sound #2 – R2-D2

To create the voice of everyone’s favorite, R2-D2, Ayla again uses her overdrive and delay pedal but then uses her tremolo bar in an unconventional way. She slides the tremolo bar along the strings above the pickups and tries a tapping technique to give it a whistling noise that sounds exactly like the beloved droid.

Sound #3 – Cantina Song

We all know the song. Ayla even thinks it’s one of the best songs ever written, so it’s gonna be on this list. Her goal was to make her guitar sound like the steel drum used in the song. And to get the reverberating slapback that resembles the steel drums so prominently, Ayla uses a single guitar effect — digital delay. She then plays the 10th fret of the G string and the 8th and 9th fret of the B string along with the song. The results definitely sound more like a steel drum than it dows a guitar.

Sound #4 – Lightsaber

This sound requires the guitar to lay flat. And what Ayla does is runs a small marker across the length of the fretboard to create the engaging sound of a lightsaber. Next, she finds the pitch between F# and G by pushing the tremolo bar and adds volume swells. The overdrive and delay pedals are needed again to really make sure it doesn’t sound too guitar-y and more lightsaber-y.

Sound #5 – Wookie Scream

The last noise has crazy dissonance between the notes and to create this, Ayla detunes the high E string to slightly sharper than B (maybe one of the only times you actually want your guitar to be out of tune). Ayla bends the G string on the 4th fret and releases the bend to get it a bit flatter than the B. She initiates so more volume swells and of course more drive and delay.

If you closed your eyes and watched the video, did you notice which was the real Star Wars noise and which one was the guitar?

The guitar can be more than just learning songs. Why not have fun and see what cool sound effects you can come up with? Get creative — and May the 4th be with you!

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